Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Reorganizing City Government: Phase 2; Initial Changes in Mayor's Office Plan Deal with Agency Organization

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Reorganizing City Government: Phase 2; Initial Changes in Mayor's Office Plan Deal with Agency Organization

Article excerpt

Byline: Timothy J. Gibbons

Over a year after taking first steps to change the way city government is set up, Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown's office hopes to roll out a second phase of reorganization Tuesday night.

Although the goal is to change the way citizens interact with city government - particularly in terms of making more information available to the public - most of the initial changes occur deep within the bowels of government. Among the changes:

- Moving standalone organizations like the Public Library and Children's Commission out on their own, rather than having them report to department heads.

- Putting the Jacksonville Small and Emerging Business program back in Intra-Governmental Services, which oversees procurement, rather than in the Economic Development Office where the first reorganization phase moved it.

- Transferring mosquito control and environmental quality from Neighborhoods to Public Works, a proposal that has generated some controversy. (Public Works also oversees public buildings, which could have environmental quality violations).

Depending on the outcome of a Tuesday morning meeting with City Council President Bill Bishop, Brown will seek to have the legislation added to the council agenda for the evening meeting.

Having the legislation submitted at the last minute generated some sardonic humor on the part of council members who expected the bill a year ago. "It's a year late and they have to rush it to put it on the addendum to the agenda?" said Councilman John Crescimbeni. "I'm not sure another two weeks would add anything to the process."

Monday afternoon, Bishop said he wasn't sure what he thought of the plan, not having seen the latest version. (Documents released in response to a public records request show the plan going through a number of iterations in recent months. …

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